When the World Wide Web went live on August 6, 1991, it became clear that the world would never be the same. The internet changed how we conduct research and business. However, despite the revolutionary growth of the internet and related technologies, not all businesses have established an online presence. According to a report released by research firm Clutch, nearly 46 percent of small businesses in the U.S. didn’t have a website as of 2016.
There are many reasons a small business would choose not to create a website. Here are some contributing factors:
- Irrelevant to the business — Some small business owners believe that a website isn’t relevant to their industry. What these business owners may fail to realize is that many shoppers now look online before purchasing a product. Whether they are looking for online options or searching for a physical store near them that may have what they need, they are using the internet as part of their shopping experience. Even if it’s just a page with contact information, small businesses should have some type of online presence so people know they exist.
- Lack of technical know-how — Many small businesses do not have the expertise to put up and maintain a website. With only a handful of employees who have their own responsibilities, it may be difficult to find anyone with the know-how and desire to take on the task. While these businesses could reach out to someone else to perform those tasks for them, the costs may be prohibitive.
- Cost — Cost is a major reason why small businesses do not have an online presence. While some of these businesses may want to have a website, they may see the cost and upkeep of a website to be too expensive in relation to how much money the company makes annually or how much of a return the website could provide.
- Social media — Some small businesses use social media platforms instead of a website. Owners believe that they can reach their target market through active participation in social media, while spending less than they would with a full-blown website.
While these reasons may all seem valid, a lot of small businesses miss out on customers by not having an online presence. As customers rely more on the internet to find the products and services they’re looking for, small businesses may find themselves falling behind the competition if they can’t offer a website.